Shiatsu

Shiatsu (Kanji: Hiragana: ?) is Japanese for "finger pressure"; it is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other massage techniques. There is no scientific evidence for any medical efficacy of shiatsu,[1][2] but some shiatsu practitioners promote it as a way to help people relax and cope with issues such as stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. Shiatsu was invented by Tokujiro Namikoshi; he founded the first shiatsu college in 1940.[2] There are two main Shiatsu schools: one incorporating elements of evidence-based anatomy and physiology, and the other based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Shiatsu is usually performed on a futon mat, with clients fully clothed. It is also performed on horses. Chinese characters (Japanese: kanji) first came to Japan on official seals, letters, swords, coins, mirrors, and other decorative items imported from China. The earliest known instance of such an import was King of Na Gold Seal given by Emperor Guangwu of Han to a Yamato emissary in 57 AD.[4] Chinese coins from the 1st century AD have been found in Yayoi period archaeological sites.[5] However, the Japanese of that era probably had no comprehension of the script, and would remain illiterate until the 5th century AD.[5] According to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, a Korean scholar called Wani () was dispatched to Japan by the Kingdom of Baekje during the reign of Emperor Ojin in the early 5th century, bringing with him knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese characters.[6] The earliest Japanese documents were probably written by bilingual Chinese or Korean officials employed at the Yamato court.[5] For example, the diplomatic correspondence from King Bu of Wa to Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 478 has been praised for its skillful use of allusion. Later, groups of people called fuhito were organized under the monarch to read and write Classical Chinese. During the reign of Empress Suiko, the Yamato court began sending full-scale diplomatic missions to China, which resulted in a large increase in Chinese literacy at the Japanese court.[6] The Japanese language had no written form at the time Chinese characters were introduced, and texts were written and read only in Chinese. Over time, however,[when?] a system known as kanbun emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Chinese characters also came to be used to write Japanese words,[when?] resulting in the modern kana syllabaries. A writing system called man'yogana (used in the ancient poetry anthology Man'yoshu) evolved[when?] that used a number of Chinese characters for their sound, rather than for their meaning. Man'yogana written in cursive style evolved into hiragana,[when?] a writing system that was accessible to women (who were denied higher education). Major works of Heian era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path:[when?] monastery students simplified man'yogana to a single constituent element. Thus the two other writing systems, hiragana and katakana, referred to collectively as kana, are actually descended from kanji.